Today’s Contest Clue: The Pavilion sits above this Trail Click here to enter
I am writing this as a thunder and lightning storm rages outside. The pouring rain was desperately needed by the Forest and it’s creatures.
I am leaving earlier than normal for my hike so I can get up the Mountain and over to the Hot Springs Mountain Trail. I want to be there for the soft Morning light. My hike up the Dead Chief and Short Cut Trail is more in line with Dertel’s exercise plan, a nonstop up hill climb. A guy passes me heading down the trail and says, ” Man, this is steep”, I reply “Even steeper hiking up”, he smiles and nods his head. It’s the best quick cardio workout in the park, I am never passed by runner going up then only seem to like to go down this Trail combo.
When I reach the top I connect with the Hot Springs Mountain Trail, it is glorious dressed in Spring green. A brown Moth is on the side of a Tree with it’s wings spread soaking up the early rays of morning sun. Beautiful Wildflowers are popping up everywhere. Pink Scaly Blazing Stars, White and Purple Wild Petunias, Yellow St Johns Wort and sunny Dandelions. Vines are increasingly covering every inch of the Forest floor and traveling up into the Tree tops. Sweet Warblers are filling the Forest with their glorious songs.
I hike along the Trail and cross over the Hot Springs Mountain Road to continue on the west side. When I look down I see a lovely little cream Fungi growing on the side of the trail. Further along the trail I spot a green and beige Fungi near one that has a prickly texture. When I reach the Upper Dogwood I spot a beautiful yellow Fungi pushing up through the rocks like a sweet Flower. Every couple of steps I see another yellow shape blossoming in the trail.
When I reach the Floral Trail I keep hearing this light ticking sound on the dried leaves. I see a slight movement, but I can’t see anything in the leaves. I take a photo of the general area, a good decision as it reveals a cool camouflaged Grasshopper. A few steps ahead and I hear the same sound, this time I see a tiny bright green grasshopper. I Love seeing new insects in the park. At the bottom of the trail is an gorgeous surprise, Tawny Daylilies. I have seen the buds for several days but did not imagine the color that would burst forth.
As I am heading home on Fountain Street I hear a rustling to my side. I turn to see a sassy female Cardinal pushing through the leaves looking for a late morning breakfast. It is the perfect end to a wonderful morning in the Forest.
Let your heart be free in Nature.
Love to All,
PS My Beloved Fiance’ Rick is healing and we had a lovely walk on the Promenade. I have included a few photos from our time in the park.